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Inventory of the Department of Investment Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization
  • Subjects
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Department of Investment Records
    Dates: 1907-1971
    Collection number: R305
    Creator: California Department of Investment
    Extent: 36 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The records of the Department of Investment, and its divisions, document many different facets of California's financial past. The records described in this inventory concern only the Division of Banking, the Division of Corporations, Division of Real Estate, and the Board of Investment.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Language: English

    Administrative Information


    Some files produced by the Department of Investment are restricted according to California Government Code Section 6254.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Department of Investment Records, R305.[series number], [box and folder number] or F3736:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The California State Archives acquired the records of the Department of Investment according to state law.

    Agency History

    The Department of Investment was established by law in 1929 (Chapter 277, Statutes of 1929, in effect August 14,1929). The department was created to bring under a single administration the activities and functions of five previously separate departments, i.e. the State Banking Department, Bureau of Building and Loan Supervision, State Corporation Department, Insurance Department, and State Real Estate Department. Under the 1929 law that created the Department of Investment, each of these departments became divisions that remained autonomous with no change in their functions, responsibilities, or powers. The same law also specified a Board of Investment consisting of the Superintendent of Banks and the respective commissioners of the remaining four divisions with each member serving as chairman in regular rotation. The current chairman was known as the Director of Investment.
    Since the 1929 law specified that "...the powers heretofore or hereafter vested by law in said governmental agencies shall continue to be so vested, and shall not be transferred or consolidated in the Department of Investment" it is appropriate here to briefly discuss the history and functions of the State Banking Department, the State Corporations Department, and the State Real Estate Department.
    The State Banking Department was established in 1909 (Chapter 76, Statutes of 1909). The chief officer was the Superintendent of Banks. This department's major functions included issuing state charters for new banks and trust companies and licensing new branch offices; conducting annual financial examinations of all state-chartered banks, foreign banking corporations, and trust companies; and liquidating and conserving the assets of banks in cases of bankruptcy.
    The State Corporations Department was established in 1913 (Chapter 353, Statutes of 1913) with the Commissioner of Corporations serving as its administrative head. The department's responsibilities included issuing permits to companies to sell securities; licensing securities brokers and agents; regulating advertising and other matters pertaining to securities; and administering various laws including the Credit Union and Franchise Investment Laws.
    The State Real Estate Commissioners Department was first created in 1917 (Chapter 758, Statutes of 1917). In 1919 the law establishing the department was held unconstitutional by the courts, and was repealed. The law repealing the State Real Estate Commissioner's Department also created a new department named the State Real Estate Department (Chapter 44, Statutes of 1919). The purpose of this department was to provide for the licensing and regulation of real estate licensees. The name of the department was changed in 1929 to the Division of Real Estate when the Department of Investment was created. In 1935 the Real Estate Board was created consisting of the Real Estate Commissioner and six other members who served at the pleasure of the Governor and acted in an advisory capacity.
    The Department of Investment ceased operations after 1969 (Chapter 138, Statutes of 1969) whereupon the individual departments under its jurisdiction were transferred to the Business and Transportation Agency. Under the purview of the Business and Transportation Agency the departments continued to maintain their autonomy, as they had when they were divisions within the Department of Investment.

    Scope and Content

    The records of the Department of Investment, and its divisions, document many different facets of California's financial past. The records described in this inventory concern only the Division of Banking, the Division of Corporations, Division of Real Estate, and the Board of Investment. The records are also organized by these divisions. This record group contains 36 cubic feet of textual records that include subject files, correspondence, meeting minutes, credit union revocations, prospectus, security sales applications, bank audits, financial ledgers, investigation files and reports, lot subdivision applications, subdivision reports, Governor's task force files, hearing files, comptroller bulletins, and many records that relate to the liquidation of Japanese banks (banks that were owned by companies based in Japan) after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941.
    The Board of Investment records relate to the meeting of the division heads and covers the years 1960-1963. The records group is mainly illustrative of the administrative tasks of the board itself such as budget allocations, department procedures, regulations, and reports on the activities of the individual divisions.
    The Division of Banking records relate to two major topics. The first component consists of records relating to the review and audit of California financial institutions. The second component consists of records relating to the liquidation of Japanese-owned banks after the outbreak of World War II. There is a wealth of information about two major banks, Yokohama Specie Bank, Ltd. and Sumitomo Bank, Ltd.
    The Division of Corporations records contain a large amount of records generated by the office of the Chief Deputy Commissioner including subject files and correspondence pertaining to a wide variety of subjects including securities permits, licensing of securities brokers and agents, advertising of securities, and administering various laws including the Credit Union and Franchise Investment Laws.
    The Division of Real Estate records contain files related to the subdivision and sale of land in California as well as the licensing of real estate agents. There are files that pertain to the investigation and hearings of real estate agents that had complaints filed against them or otherwise broke the law. There are also reports that summarize the subdividing of lands.


    This record group is organized into four subgroups: Board of Investment records, Division of Banking records, Division of Corporations records, and the Division of Real Estate records.


    California. Dept. of Investment
    California. Division of Corporations
    California. State Real Estate Division

    Related Material

    Department of Real Estate
    Department of Banking
    Department of Corporations
    Department of Insurance
    Bureau of Building and Loan Supervision